For the elote filling:
- 1 large ear corn, husked and rinsed
- ½ cup low-moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons Cotija cheese
- 2 teaspoons crema Mexicana
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon Tajín
- ½ teaspoon Tapatío or other mild hot sauce
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
For the potato mixture:
- 20 ounces potatoes (4 small or 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¼ teaspoon crushed dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 dashes of mild hot sauce, such as Tapatío
For the coating:
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the garnish:
- ¼ cup crema Mexicana
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Tajín to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Cotija, to taste
- Cayenne, optional, to taste
- Cilantro leaves, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Carefully char the outside of the corn, turning the cob as you go; or place corn under a broiler and cook for 4 minutes, until charred in spots all over. Wrap corn in foil and bake until tender for about 20 minutes. Carefully open the foil (steam will be released) and let it cool. Place mozzarella, cotija, crema, lime juice, cilantro, Tajín, hot sauce, pepper, and butter in a medium bowl. Cut corn kernels from the cob and stir.
For potato mixture:
First, boil water in a medium size pan then add potatoes and cook at a gentle boil over medium until tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain potatoes and let potatoes dry in the pot. Next add butter, dried parsley, onion powder, cayenne, and preferred hot sauce. Stir ingredients with a spoon, then mix everything together with a potato masher until smooth. Season with salt.
Using 2 tablespoons of portioned potato mixture form into balls (you should get 13 to 15). Make an indentation in the potato round using the back of a 2 teaspoon-sized scoop or your thumb. Place 2 teaspoons filling in each indentation, then carefully cover the filling with potato mixture and re-shape into a ball. Place on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Whisk tapioca flour, paprika, and onion powder together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and water together. Working with 1 ball at a time, gently roll each elote-stuffed potato ball in egg wash. Lift the ball from the egg wash, allowing any excess wash to drip back into the bowl. Coat evenly in seasoned tapioca flour and return to the baking sheet. Finally, transfer potato elote balls on a baking sheet to the freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Fill a medium pot with oil to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches and heat to 350°F. Working in 2 batches, fry potato bites, stirring occasionally until golden brown, the balls will float to the surface when done. Transfer the potato bites to a paper towel-lined plate.
Mix cream and lime juice in a small bowl and transfer to a piping bag or ziplock with a cut edge. Pipe a small dollop of crema on top of each potato bite. Lastly, drizzle with hot sauce, and sprinkle with cotija, Tajín, and cayenne.